Thursday December 10, 2015
With October being breast cancer awareness month, we would like to highlight the importance of regular screening for an early diagnosis and even more so to the preventive measures that should be taken.
Studies have proven a direct relation between our nutrition and the risk of breast cancer. A sedentary lifestyle accompanied by an unbalanced diet is one of the prime causes of the disease. On the contrary, a balanced & healthy lifestyle can help decrease breast cancer incidence by 5-9%.
Here is how we can adopt a healthy lifestyle and shield ourselves with Breast cancer awareness.
1. Monitor your body weight
Maintain a healthy body weight (Body mass index of 19 - 25 kg/m2) and remain within the healthy body fat percentage range (20-30%).
2. Follow a Low-Fat Diet
Daily dietary intake should consist of no more than 25-30% from total fats with less than 7% from saturated fat (such as butter, sausages, cakes, biscuits, cream and high fat cheeses). Also, it is imperative to avoid the harmful hydrogenated/trans-fats (such as margarine, fried foods, packed meals and snacks with hydrogenated fats). Remember always check the nutrition labels!
3. Consume Soy Products in Moderation
Soy products have gotten a bad reputation as assisting in the incidence and growth of breast cancer since they act like estrogen in the body, which in turn may increase breast cancer risk. This has been proven to be a myth and in fact new studies have shown a protective factor in the moderate consumption of Soy products. They are found to be beneficial due to their high content of isoflavones and can be easily incorporated into our diets. Cow milk can be substituted with soy milk and soy beans can be used as snacks or added to salads.
4. Make sure to get your 5-a day veggies & fruits
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibers, which makes them the healthiest of the food chain. Those with the highest antioxidant content include pomegranate, citrus fruits, apples, mangoes, broccoli, cauliflower, red beetroot and Brussels sprouts. Make sure to enjoy 2-3 fruit portions and 3-5 vegetable portions daily!
5. Don’t forget your Fibers
The daily requirement for fiber intake is 25g which can be achieved by increasing consumption of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Make at least half of your cereals whole (whole wheat bread, whole pasta, brown rice, freekeh, oatmeal etc).
6. Stay active
Studies have shown that regular activity is essential to a healthy lifestyle and breast cancer prevention. Exercise recommendations include: aerobic exercises (150 minutes per week for a moderate intensity -walking, biking etc); vigorous intensity (75 minutes per week of swimming, rope jumping, body pump etc). Resistance training is also recommended at least two times per week, on non consecutive days. Don’t have time for an exercise schedule? Just invest 30 minutes of your day to walk, bike, dance or simply get moving and you’ll be on the track to healthier you!
Finally, though breast cancer can be influenced by many factors that are beyond our control such as genetic predisposition and age, yet our daily meal and activity choices are pivotal in the prevention of the disease and in the recovery of those affected by breast cancer.
This October, Slim’n Lite calls upon all women to do regular screening for breast cancer and to aim for a healthier life. We believe in living better, in choosing yourself, in loving yourself, and in treating your health and happiness with the care it deserves.